This chapter is valid not only for athletes and sport personnel, it is also for the average person since we all have some areas or situations in life we would like to improve. All of us have had experiences and have been in situations where we had a certain degree of discomfort, or where we simply behaved strangely and irrationally. Such situations simply worry or bother us. In this chapter we will teach you how to train your thoughts in order to tackle such situations or, in other words, how to use the power of your thoughts. Some call it mental training or “mastering”.
We will explain to you the difference between our conscious self and our subconscious self. With this as a basis, we will try to explain how we function as human beings, or how our brain works. All of us have memories, things and situations we remember, but we also have many memories we do not remember. Even if we don’t remember everything, all memories are stored in our subconscious memory bank in the brain, like on a huge hard disk. All of these memories that we don’t remember make most of what we call our personality, and these forgotten memories have a greater influence on our personality than most of us are aware of.
We will teach you techniques on how to “program yourself” in situations where:
- You do have some degree of discomfort
- You have a mental blockage or barrier
- You have a fear (phobia)
- You want to improve your performance
- You want to train for totally new situations and challenges.
We will guide you step by step from the start of this type of training and show you how to reach your goal, where you finally master the difficult situation with comfort and satisfaction. Positive thought sentences or affirmations, is one technique we will teach you for different situations. One of the F.A.Q.’s about this training is: How long time does it take before this type of training works? We give you an answer to this question. In the last part of the chapter we will talk about human behavior, and we will discuss in general terms the topic of mental training or “head” training.
Experiences all of us have sometimes had
We start with some everyday experiences most of us have now and then. All of us have been in situations where we simply did not feel or function normally, even if we knew very well that the whole situation should not be difficult, dangerous or threatening. Sometimes in very specific situations we simply get blocked, while other situations make us nervous just thinking about them.
Examples of such situations are when you plan lecture in front of many people, when you meet a special person, are in a competition, take an exam or test, have a job interview or simply plan to do something you have never done before. The funny or frustrating thing about such situations is that you know very well there is nothing dangerous, threatening or anything else to be nervous about, but that doesn’t help; we get the same nervous feeling anyway. But, this is typical human behavior – we are only partially rational. This is a topic we will study more deeply further on.
We will try to explain how our brain works and why we have such a curious reaction about some things. Our objective is to teach all of you to be master of or in control of such situations, taking advantage of well-documented techniques that Ingrid has used. She has been able to break barriers, has set new standards and has broken at least half a dozen world records with the help of this type of training. Now it is only up to you to join us for the next step.
The power of visualization and our thoughts
Our daily thoughts do have a great impact on our behavior. Our thoughts control us both on our conscious as well as on our subconscious levels; these are expressions we will explain more deeply later on. Most of you have probably heard of the placebo effect. If, for example, we think that we are getting a medicine to help us solve a certain medical problem, then we experience that we really get better even if we were “cheated” by simple sugar pills.
We have been fooled to have the thought “this helps”, and a strange thing happens: Very often we are helped just by having this “right” thought- without any drugs, just sugar. This explains much of the power in the expressions: “The power of our thoughts” or “You are what you think”
The power of our thoughts is beginning to be accepted by traditional medicine. Psychologist Tor-Johan Flaten at the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology, (NTNU), says that this is nothing to laugh at, but is rather a resource and potential that the medical world has just lately discovered. He is supported by professor Magne Flaten, with a PhD in psychology at NTNU. A lot of recent research supports the theory that your thoughts have an important impact on the effect of medical treatment. “There is no doubt at all”, says professor Flaten.
Mind and body are closely related and dependant on each other. Our body is influenced by what happens in our mind. The mental processes send their control signals to the biological processes in the body, and these mental processes can strengthen the body’s own curing ability, explains Ekeland, who has just defended his PhD thesis about the subject. (Source: Aftenposten, Monday 4 June, 1999)
A study at the University of Chicago has tested how visualization can improve sport performance. A number of persons were divided into three groups. On the first day all persons were tested shooting a certain number of foul shots in basketball. The groups then got the following instructions:
Group 1 did not practice foul shots during the 30 days of the experiment.
Group 2 practiced foul shots every day for 30 days.
Group 3 practiced foul shots only in their minds for 30 days.
After these 30 days a new test was done and compared with the results from day 1 as a reference, the new results were very surprising:
Group 1 had 0% improvement, which is not very surprising.
Group 2 improved 24%, which is not bad, but they had been training with the ball for 30 days
Group 3 improved 23%, which is very surprising, since they had not touched the ball for 30 days
These results give an example of the power of visualization, a technique where we use our thoughts and fantasy to think in “mental pictures”. This particular experiment basically tested the specific motor ability or technique in foul shots of the test persons, but when it comes to physical strength and endurance it is important to train both physically as well as mentally in parallel.
A reaction first starts with a thought followed by an emotion and finally there is a body reaction like pulse and/or temperature change, a change in bodily or facial expression, muscle tension, etc.
Each reaction is totally subjective for each individual; it is the product of our past adventures and experiences which are always different form person to person. In other words, we are all pre-programmed on how we react or behave, or not react at all, in a certain situation.
In those cases where we do have an unwanted reaction or response to one specific thing or situation, most people would like to change this from an unwanted to a wanted reaction. We will use the power of our thoughts to re-program our reaction to a wanted reaction. Training our thoughts and visualization can effectively change our reaction pattern in a certain situation.
The thought comes before the emotion; therefore, the principle we are building our training on is to take control of the thoughts, it will then be easier to control the following emotions and reactions:
Most of you are probably familiar with the sayings ” Think positive”, “Be positive”: these sayings come from this theory. Positive thoughts normally give a positive emotion and reaction response, negative thoughts normally give a negative emotion and reaction response.
We will try to explain this deeper in the subchapter about the conscious and subconscious.
Our brain works with our thoughts and feelings on two different layers or levels, the conscious and the subconscious. Things on our conscious level are things we are aware of through our focused senses; they are all things we know about. The conscious part of our personality is, however, only a few percent of the total; most of our personality belongs to the subconscious part of us, whether you believe it or not.
Everything we experience with our focused concentration will be remembered consciously in the short time memory. This memory has a very limited capacity, however, since we manage to remember only about 5-7 things at the same time. Our short time memory sends all memories over to the long time memory where we can have up to one million memories.
Activities we initiate from our will come from our consciousness. In this case we use our thoughts directly and consciously to act. We sense the world around us through our senses: our sight, our hearing, our taste, our smell and skin contact. Those sense impressions we remember were registered consciously. We registered them because they were part of our focus and conscious concentration.
In all situations there are always things we notice, while at the same time there are many other details in the situation that we do not take any notice of. For example, when you meet a person there will always be some features and details you will take notice of; these will then be registered in your consciousness. If you get questions about the person afterwards, these details are then what you hopefully remember.
Other details will more or less be impossible to remember, but all of them have been scanned by your senses and stored in your subconscious part of your brain. Under hypnosis many of these subconscious details will be able to be picked up by an experienced hypnotherapist.
Our consciousness has a close connection to our intelligence. It is logical and is able to argue and discuss, is able to distinguish (normally) between right and wrong, between reality and fantasy, and knows the concept of past, present and future time.
The size of the conscious storage or what we remember is very limited, however, and we continually forget things. As mentioned before, we are able to remember about one million things in our conscious, long term memory. Memories flow in and memories flow out, but luckily, nothing is lost or “forgotten” in the subconscious storage; here everything is stored as long as you live. (This is something we can at times experience among very old people; they can go back in their childhood and tell about their lives 50-80 years back in the smallest detail.) Our conscious short term memory, on the other hand, has a very limited capacity, it can handle at most 5-7 things at the same time. We all know the situation where when we get more input than this, we just get mixed up and lose control.
Our thoughts, feelings and senses are greatly influence by our subconscious. This is a fact that most people are not aware of, even in today’s world.
Most of our skills and actions are directly controlled by our subconscious as, for example, when you are driving a car. In learning how to drive a car, you have to “think” about every one of your actions. Now I have to put my foot on the break, now I have to put my foot on the gas pedal etc. When you have trained and practiced enough in a car, you will come to a point where these actions simply happen. Without “thinking”, you simply do the right thing at the right time.
As experienced drivers all of us have had the experience of driving kilometers after kilometers, and then being asked about some details of the drive. To our surprise, although we have been driving safely and securely, we do not remember even one meter of those final kilometers. Your subconscious has been in direct control of the driving; consciously you have not been “present” at all during part of the drive.
Another common example is when, for example, you suddenly happen into a situation and something unexpected occurs; there is no time to think, but you simply do something. This is an example of how we use our intuition in our actions; we simply do something without any time delay. That is typical in actions controlled by our subconscious: it is direct and fast with no delay or time to think.
Another characteristic pattern of our subconscious is that it is not logical (does not care whether 2+2 is 4 or 5), and it never asks questions about the content of what it receives. In other words, our subconscious dos not know the difference between right and wrong. It does not know the difference between reality and fantasy, it is not logical and have no idea about the notions of past, present or future time.
These distinctive features of the subconscious will be used in a positive way in our training to reach our goals, to change a reaction to a wanted pattern response.
We have mentioned car driving; most of what we do in the car is directly controlled by our subconscious mind. We daily move between different levels of consciousness (or “trances”). Examples are daydreaming, when we get emotionally involved in a movie, when we read, when we fall in love etc.
The control of most processes in our body is done by “software” on the subconscious level, and some of these processes we are not able to control directly with our will. Examples of such processes are the growth and maintenance of our different body cells, control of pulse and body temperature, our immune system, digestion and the intestine functions etc.
This “software” was programmed by nature. Learned functions like creeping, walking, bicycling, car driving etc. are also directly controlled from our subconscious, but this does not happen before we have learned the activity with enough repetitions. It is only during the learning process we have to think: ” Now I am pushing the break pedal”. After some time you will do the same thing without thinking, you simply do it when you have to.
This is how our brain works
Our behavior in a given situation is controlled both by our conscious will and by our subconscious experiences that can be related to or what we subconsciously associate in the given situation. It is this last factor that sometimes can create some frustrations in our daily lives. The problem is that we do not remember or know everything about our subconscious experiences. To be able to take action with our will in the given situation there must be a spontaneous negotiation between the conscious and subconscious part of our brain.
If the conscious and the subconscious agree, then our actions will be easy to do as wanted.
If, however, these two negotiating parties disagree, then we do have a challenge. The result can be that we are not able to do “things” with the result we want. We struggle to perform normally, we suddenly get an irrational nervousness, an internal protest reaction, or we simply do things wrong. The worst thing that can happen is when we get a total mental blockage, and we are not able to act at all.
When our subconscious wins the negotiation, our will has been conquered. The normal reaction is that you don’t understand anything. Why should this easy thing be so difficult, and why did I do this and this. The conscious part of our personality always tries to find a rational explanation why such a thing happened, but very often there is no logic or explanation to what happened, and you understand even less.
You have probably been in a situation where, because in the past you have a bad experience, the situation you are into will subconsciously be associated with this bad experience, and that old memory file starts to take control of you. This old file is dominant over the situation and controls your behavior. The most frustrating thing with this is that you are not aware of that old, dominant memory file that suddenly pops up. We have bumped into a “complex”; a mental blockage or barrier.
What is a memory file?
All our senses, thoughts and feelings are continually stored on an enormous “hard disk” in our brain, most of it on a subconscious hard disk. Each of these experiences has its own file.
Most of what we experience in life does not make much impression on us, it is stored on weak files. Some files are however stored on dominant and strong files. These are experiences that made more impression on us, and they created strong emotions, good or bad. These strong files have a greater influence on our personality than the weaker files.
Strong memory files can be created in two major ways:
Experiences and situations that had created strong feelings such as good and positive experiences like joy, love and surprises or bad and negative feelings like sadness, anger, fear and shame.
Experiences that had been repeated and repeated, over and over again. But, these experiences do not have to create strong feelings. Dependant on the number of repetitions, a file with the same experience will be stronger and stronger. These situations or experiences can be either positive or negative.
Most of us pick up old dominant files when we come into situations that can be related to falling in love. These experiences had normally created strong, positive emotions, especially the first experiences of this type.
Only one experience like an emergency landing with a plane is enough to create a mental blockage or phobia on flying.
If you have been influenced by habits or rituals over some time, these habits will become more and more a part of you. The repetitions have programmed you.
How to succeed with what you want to achieve
The training concept we use “to succeed with what we want to achieve”, or mastering, which uses the power of repetition of a thought is also called mental training. By repeating some wanted thoughts or affirmations in a specific situation you will gradually create a strong dominant subconscious memory file for the given situation.
We have come back to the power of our thoughts. As mentioned earlier, since our subconscious does not know the difference between fantasy and reality it is therefore enough to think about an action; you don’t have to physically do the action. (In sport you also have to train physically) It does not take a long time to think through a pattern of action in a very specific situation as compared to if you had to physically do the same thing, at a special place at a special time etc.
In a second you are able to think through all the special conditions in a situation that in real life could easily take hours, days and weeks to do. Doing the same thing just in your thoughts is also totally free of cost. You use your consciousness to define the situation with the wanted reaction pattern and conditions of the ideal behavior.
The first astronauts landing on the moon used this technique in the training for all procedures for the moon journey. (It was not so easy to get up there and train on the real procedures in advance) When the astronauts returned form the moon journey they reported that they felt they had been doing moon landings for years. Pilots train in flight simulators for emergency situations. They repeat the procedures so may times that they finally do them without thinking. They make dominant and strong memory files of each important emergency situation. If an emergency situation should really happen in the air, the pilot will then automatically do the right thing without thinking and without being afraid.
By repeating conscious thoughts in a training situation you will gradually “program” your subconscious mind with the same thoughts. In situations where there had been a disagreement between your conscious will and your subconscious programming, this training will then gradually eliminate the disagreement and you will end up with a reaction exactly like you want.
The old, dominant and negative memory file is not dominant any longer; the new wanted “file” will gradually strangle the old memory file. The new, wanted file has taken over the dominant role for the specific situation.
To illustrate this you can visualize a lever with two scales in your subconscious. It has a negative sentence on one scale and a positive sentence on the other scale: for example, “I am in full control of this situation” and in the other scale “I am not in control in this situation”. If you have a negative dominant memory file for this situation, then the “I am not in control in this situation” scale is heavier and the lever will tilt down on this side.
However, training and repetitions with the positive anti-sentence will gradually increase the positive “weight” of this scale, and the lever will gradually, sooner or later, start tilting the other positive way. You have succeeded with your mental training, you have programmed a positive dominant memory file for the specific situation. You are in full control in the situation, and you behave and react as you want to.
Ingrid competed against Grete Waitz in all types of races for many years. For more than 10 years Ingrid had never beaten Grete, Ingrid was almost always number 2 in each competition. Ingrid had gradually created a dominant memory file that she should be number 2 in the running situation with Grete present in the race. Ingrid had developed what we can call a number 2 or a Grete complex. It was simply not “right” for Ingrid to defeat Grete in a race.
Ingrid herself was not aware of this complex or mental blockage. Willi Railo, a famous Norwegian sport psychologist, discovered this when he worked with Ingrid, and he made Ingrid aware of her blockage. They worked together with the new discovery. Willi made thought sentences or affirmations together with visualizations where Ingrid saw herself in the running situation. In these visualizations Ingrid was always in front of all her competitors; everyone, including Grete was behind her in the race.
At the same time it was of course important to do the physical training in parallel. These thoughts and “pictures” were repeated and repeated, and gradually the new thoughts and pictures took over the dominant role in her subconscious memory file for the given situation. Her lever with the two scales: “I am always number two” and “I am always in front of a race” gradually started to tilt over with more and more weight in the scale “I am always in front of a race”.
Suddenly one day Ingrid beat Grete in a cross country race, and from that date the situation totally changed. In almost all later races Ingrid not only defeated Grete, she also beat most other women in the world. This is one example where we have well documented results and experience of mental training, and we want to share these experiences with you.
How do I start to train my “head”?
We have several options or scenarios to start from.
We want to achieve a certain wanted reaction in a specific situation where we have had no experience, or we have never been into the situation before.
We have had a bad experience trying to achieve a desired reaction in a specific situation, and we think we know the reason why we did not succeed.
We have a bad experience trying to achieve a desired reaction in a specific situation, and we have no idea why this is so difficult for us.
Take a closer look to alternative 2 and 3. We are dealing with situations where we have had the experiences of not achieving what we wanted. It is then very natural to get negative thoughts and feelings about these situations which very often put us in a defensive position. Our experience has created thoughts about these situations were our thoughts say “I am not very good in this”. When this is the position with our thoughts, then the chance is very high that this will be the result of our action.
In alternative 1. You want to prepare for something you have not done before. Very often it will be difficult to train for the situation at the real location and the right time, but if you think about what a fantastic tool our thoughts are, you will realize that they can be trained for any time at any location and for any situation. If the situation also requires knowledge, physical or motory preparations, it is of course important to train these elements in parallel to the mental preparations.
Alternative 2. Seems to be easy to start with. You should be aware of the following: you think you know why you have not succeeded as you wanted, but what you think does not always happen to be right. Very often the reason is on your subconscious level, and then it can be more difficult to discover the real reason, and the reason can be totally different from what you think.
Alternative 3. Probably describes the most normal and most frustrating situation, the typical “I understand nothing”, why should this be so difficult for me?
We are now back to a very important question:
How can I diagnose my subconscious memory files, those files that take control and which are dominant in my difficult situations?
There is no simple and easy answer to this question, and most of us need some help and assistance to find out of this. It is not easy to do this just by yourself.
Ingrid has gotten help and assistance for this in two ways.
She was trained by Willi Railo in deep relaxation. Willi did both the relaxation session and the following interview with her. When you are into deep relaxation a qualified person can more easily talk to you directly on your subconscious level. Just by asking the right questions, it is possible to get the right answers more or less directly from the subconscious level.
Light muscle testing is a technique from Kinesiology. Terje Skriver, an experienced Norwegian kinesiologist would probe trying to hit Ingrid’s negative and dominant memory file for a given situation. The sentence could be “It is natural for me to win” The person being tested then repeats this sentence. At the same time that the person being tested repeats the sentence, the kinesiologist tests an arm muscle. If your subconscious agrees with the sentence, then your arm muscle will react strongly. If your subconscious disagrees with the sentence, then the muscle will react weakly. It can be a real detective job to find your weak links, but a trained kinesiologist will normally find your weak links without too much effort.
Other methods that can be used to trace or find your weak links:
It is possible to get a very good indication about a persons personality by just having an easy and relaxed conversation. In a short time a trained person will have a good overview of the person’s main personality characteristics.
Hypnosis is also likely to give direct access to your “subconscious world”. However, to do this legally most countries require that this is done by a qualified hypnotherapist.
When you talk to people you very soon get a first impression of the main characteristic of their personality. You quickly get a lot of verbal input, but at the same time probably more than 80% of the input is non-verbal gotten through body language and gesture. When the two channels of information seem to agree and correlate, then, at least in the first minutes, you take the input as facts. (Most of this evaluation is done by you subconscious database)
Having been in the sport business more than 30 years we can tell you we have met many world champions on a verbal level, but we have not met many world champions in the real world. Almost daily we all meet people that talk big, or in “capital letters”; people it takes you one second to conclude that are just talkers and actually really losers. It is the easiest thing in the world to use you lips to state verbally how good and strong a runner you are, but luckily enough you need more than your lips to run; the lips are not very good runners.
You very soon discover when a person is dominated by a positive and optimistic mentality. On the other hand, you also very soon discover when a person has a dominant negative and pessimistic personality.
We all have our strong and our weak points. Very often the circumstances will decide if you are in a strong or weak area. The safe and confident person can suddenly bump into an area where he/she has had some bad experiences, and suddenly the personality has totally changed to low self-confidence and nervousness. We also experience the opposite as when a person who generally has a a low self-confidence suddenly gets into a situation where he/she has had some very good experiences, and the person handles it like a champion.
Of course all of us want to have as many good areas and as few or bad areas as possible.
We should now have reached the starting point to start the “head” or mental training.
This is how you do mental or “head” training
We start with a challenge; a situation where you want to master or improve your specific behavior and reactions.
The main principle we are building our training on is that you shall think about the particular situation, and in your thoughts you see yourself secure and confident with full control of the situation. You behave exactly like you want to in your thoughts.
There are many different training methods that build on this main principle.
We shall not discuss these methods any further, but they all use the same basic principle of thinking about how to behave and react in a specific situation, and they all use thoughts and mental pictures in the training process. There is, however, some general advice we can give about all these methods:
If you are able to mobilize good and positive feelings when you train your thoughts, the effect will be faster and much more effective. Remember: it is exactly these same type of mood and feelings you are trying to “program” for the given situation.
Your training will be much more effective if you are able to be tranquil and relaxed while training. Again, you should remember it is inner peace, control and positive mastery you are learning to use, and if you are able to do this while training, these good feelings will finally come through in the real situation. It is therefore a good idea for you to learn deep relaxation, meditation, yoga or autogen training etc.
If your situation has natural noise and/or stress, you can try to simulate this with, for example, similar sounds from a tape player while you try to relax as much as you can.
The more senses you can activate and use in addition to your thoughts while training, the more effective the training will be. It is therefore a good idea to write down the positive thoughts or affirmations you are repeating in your mind, then your eyes are also able to see them. You can read aloud the same thoughts or affirmations into a tape recorder, then your ears will hear the affirmations. By doing this you use multimedia as a pedagogic tool in your learning process. Multimedia is effective simply because it activates several senses.
Positive thought sentences or affirmations.
Positive thought sentences, or affirmations, are the same as mental or “head” exercises. You can customize the sentences to exactly suite your “challenging” situation. (We consciously try to avoid words like “problem”, since it is a negatively loaded word) Affirmations can also be of a more general character; the objective then is to improve your general thought hygiene which will further improve your overall health condition.
For example, if you have a tendency to be nervous or unsafe in a certain situation you can then design or put together the following sentences, while you see yourself reacting as wanted in the situation :
I am safe and secure ……
- I am relaxed and tranquil …..
- I am happy and satisfied …..
- I am brave and …..
- I dare to ……
All of us have some bad habits concerning our inner thoughts. We describe this as the degree of thought hygiene we have.
We have on a previous page made the statement “You are what you think”. It is therefore of vital importance that we try to catch all our bad thought habits and change them to positive and good habits. This means that we re-program our thought habits having negative signs to thought habits with positive signs. At least, we should all stop repeating negative thoughts.
All of us are familiar with expressions like:
|Bad thought habits||Bad thought habits should be changed to good thought habits|
|No, I cannot do this||I am good at this|
|This will not work||This will work fine|
|I am stupid||I am okay|
|I am insecure||I am secure|
|I will never be able to do this||I will be able to do this|
|I feel “small”||I feel confident|
|I am tired and worn out||I feel rested and strong|
|I do not feel OK||I feel OK|
In general, affirmations or thought sentences shall only be made of positive words and expressions, simply because that is what we want from the training. Keep away from all “no” words or words related to compulsion and guilt like “have to”, “must”, “should” etc.
Affirmations should always be in the present tense as if you already have completed the affirmation’s positive content and meaning. Write down and verbally express the affirmations in the I, you and the he/she pronoun form. We do this to include the surrounding world’s expression and impression about us in the affirmation. (I feel okay, you feel okay, he/she feels okay)
Repeat the affirmations approximately 20 times each time.
Some positive affirmation examples:
Self respect affirmations:
I love myself
I love myself without any reservations
I accept myself
I feel respected by other people
I respect myself
I am in balance
I am a winner
I am co-operative
I make a good impression
I trust myself
Physical fitness affirmations:
I enjoy being outdoor in the fresh air
My body likes physical challenges
I like physical exercise and recreation
I feel strong and fit
I feel light and in a good mood
Relaxation and tranquility affirmations:
I am safe and secure
I am calm
I am relaxed
I have enough time
I am peaceful inside myself
I take it easy
I feel an inner peace and quietness
I have full control of myself
Weight loss affirmations:
I respect my body’s needs
I feel okay with my body
I eat only what my body needs
It is okay if I feel hungry
I am sure my body will find its healthy weight
I keep my correct weight if I lose some pounds/kilos
I am strong even if I lose some weight
Willing to learn affirmations:
I have confidence in my learning ability
I have success in …..
I learn easily and effortlessly
I remember well what I see and hear
Other people respect my learning process
I choose to take criticism positively
I dare to express my opinion with other people present
I manage examinations and exams very well
I can express my feelings with words
Change of habits affirmations:
I am in control of my body
I have control of ……
I believe I can quit ……
I feel motivated to stop …..
I am happy without …….
I can release myself from …..
My body feels well without …..
I dare to disappoint others
I want to live
I want to be healthy
I believe I will be in good health
Others are confident that I will be healthy
I am responsible for my own body
I am stronger than my illness
I believe in the future
I forgive other people
These are just some few examples of some affirmations for some specific situations. You can start creating your own affirmations for situations you feel you can improve or situations that simply are difficult for you. But, be aware that the immediate reaction when you are working with affirmations in a difficult situation will be a protest response and doubt about a well-formed affirmation.
Write down this reaction. It is exactly this protest response that makes the problem for you; it is the dominant negative memory file. When you are working with you affirmation, repeat over and over again your words and mental pictures; the protest response will become weaker and weaker, and it will finally disappear.
How long time does it take before this type of training works?
There is no exact answer to this question, simply because each case is dependant both on the person and the situation. The range of challenge or discomfort can be over an enormous scale: from a small luxury “challenge” to a deep mental blockage or barrier. If you are clever with your “lesson” (which means repetitions of your affirmations), you can experience great improvements already from within several days to a number of weeks or months.
If you are able to engage positive and strong feelings while you work with your affirmations, you will experience faster progress. If the situation also requires a physical challenge, you obviously have to do this type of training in parallel with the mental training. If you are able to activate several senses, for instance your sight and hearing, the affirmations will be more effective.
Write down the affirmations on paper and put them on the wall in areas where you move around during the day. Read the affirmations aloud to a tape recorder and play the tape as often as possible. If you are able to engage positive feelings while you work with the affirmations, the effect will be even grater. As we have mentioned, deep relaxation, meditation, quietness and silence will also be effective while training with your affirmations.
Some words about human behavior.
As we have earlier mentioned, we human beings are only partly rational in our daily lives, and we are afraid this explains much of the sad status of our world with its poor health, poverty, injustice, hate, violence, war etc.
All of us, at times, experience the fact that we know what is good to do, but we nevertheless don’t do it.
Sometimes we try to help people to do the right thing but when it comes to action, the person we are trying to help does just the opposite of what we have just explained. This is a very typical scenario in the relation between a coach and an athlete. The coach can see all signs of a tired and worn out athlete, and he/she tells the athlete to take a few days off to get rested.
Many coaches have then experienced that the athlete does not listen and actually does the opposite. Instead of resting, he/she trains even harder. This is a typical example of the athlete having a dominant memory file where he/she thinks a day of rest is a day with lost training and very often a strong feeling of guilt. The whole situation is very frustrating for all the involved parties.
Think about all the bad habits all of us have in our daily lives; habits we “infect” to our surroundings, including our children. Have you ever considered why things are like this? Most people do not voluntarily pick up bad habits and negative thoughts. It just happen to be like that; it is subconscious “programming” without your willful control. Think about all the times we use the word “no” during a day; it is not infrequent.
How does such bad thought habits like “I am not very good in math” start?
Very often such a bad habit starts with a bad experience in the subject; in this example the start is very often in a classroom. The experience very often created strong and negative feelings that could have been triggered by a teacher when you forgot to do your homework before you were examined in the day’s math lesson.
If the incident is strong enough, it can easily become “hang up” in you, and you very easily recall the incident in each situation that can be related to math. Without thinking about it, you then repeat over and over again the negative phrase “I am not very good in math”. Over a period time it turns out that you have repeated the negative phrase or affirmation hundred or thousands of times.
And then what happens?
Yes, exactly; you are doing mental training or head training as we have explained, with affirmations or thought sentences. The only change this time is that you are doing training with a negative sign, this is of course not wanted. Most of us daily do “mental training”, and very often with a negative sign without thinking about it or being aware of it. This is not wanted because the result is very often bad habits, and in the worst cases mental blockages.
In the very complex media picture we now experience in some parts of the world with influence from cable TV, video, Internet, radio and printed media like newspapers and magazines, we have an enormous amount of information to process and handle. Very much of this information is commercials, and much of it has a rather questionable value for most people. But, there is no doubt that all these inputs do have an influence on all of us, whether we like it or not. Even if we try to filter the useful from the garbage, all of the input gets into our subconscious mind and will have an impact on us.
It is important to continually guard and take care of our self confidence and self image because we are constantly being bombarded by new trends and fashions, all of which try to make new standards where you have to buy new things continuously to feel “in”, accepted and so-called successful.
An important tool to guard your self confidence is “knowledge” as mentioned above. Knowledge will help you to better filter what information to take in information, and what to immediately put into the “garbage”. But again, all impressions that reach our senses will be stored on our subconscious level, and over time, tons of garbage will accumulate.
Some general comments about “head” training
We are trying to stimulate you to good and healthy thought habits. All of us can do better by praising ourselves as often as possible. Most often the total opposite is most common, our inner critic is very busy. Many people will probably say that we cannot walk around and praise ourselves all the time, but why not; you only do it “inside” yourself. Criticizing oneself the whole time is not exactly a very good alternative. We are talking about our internal thought conversation, thoughts that are only yours, where you can praise, praise and praise yourself.
We also want to make you aware of the fact that the training methods we have presented to you here can be misused. These are exactly the same methods that are used by extreme religious sects, dictators, etc. These training principles can be very effective manipulating and brain washing people. The Nazi regime used these principles in World War II: “The most fantastic lie is no problem, if we repeat the lie many times, people will finally believe in the most unbelievable lie.” Their propaganda principles were, as we know, very effective. In a very short time almost a whole nation believed in cruelest lies you can imagine.
If you get help and assistance in this type of training, it is a must that you work together with people you trust and believe in.
We have talked about the information age with all the impressions and influences that we daily try to filter and process. All of us should be aware of the fact that we are influenced by a collective stupidity or group thinking through the mass communication channels in the Western world.
Some players, very often the most powerful multinational companies in the world, have the resources to repeat their commercial messages over and over again exactly the way we have taught you. Little by little, these messages make dominant files in your subconscious level and you gradually get controlled by them, very often without understanding and knowing about this yourself. These campaigns are run intensively in several media at the so-called critical level. This is the level where you have the feeling that “everybody” is doing as the message tells you to do.
When you get this feeling, you throw away all your critical senses and do what you are told. Your alibi is that “everybody is doing it”. This feeling of “everybody” is the human being’s most important alibi to also “do it”, even if there is no need to do it, there is no logic in it, and it is not necessary.
Nazi Germany served the cruelest lies, while the advertising business serves us statements that range on a large scale from doubtful truths to artificial needs. Of course, these can not be compared, but the effect is the same; mass influence on people. This can again be explained by the fact that the human brain is only partly rational. All the influences we are exposed to make us do many funny and stupid things.
Many of these stupid things, when added together, are threatening modern society, including people’s health. We think much of this is caused by the modern mass communication channels of today. These media channels have a total different amount of influence when compared to what happened, for instance in the last World War.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Authors: Ingrid and Arve Kristiansen[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]